The nonprofit developer behind the Museum Reach Lofts, which has been lauded by many for offering true affordable housing near the Pearl, is planning a similar project near the University of Texas at San Antonio’s campus in west downtown.
Alamo Community Group wants to build a 160-unit, four-story apartment building on 1.5-acres at 811 W. Houston St., which is a cluster of older and modern buildings, and empty lots, currently owned by Alamo Colleges District.
The district plans to vacate the property, which houses its IT services and accounts payable departments, as it prepares to combine its administrative offices into a new building at 2222 N. Alamo St., the former site of Playland Park.
Meanwhile, Alamo Community Group is one of three early applicants to the revamped Center City Housing Incentive Policy, or CCHIP, which was reinstated Jan. 2 after a yearlong moratorium, during which city officials worked to revise the policy so that it produces more affordable units.
The area median income for a family of four in the greater San Antonio area (including New Braunfels) is $66,800, according to the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development. Here’s how it breaks down for lower-income households:
» 80% – $53,440
» 60% – $40,800
» 50% – $33,400
» 40% – $26,720
» 30% – $20,400
Of the 160 apartments at Cattleman’s Square Lofts, 136 units would be offered to households making 60 percent of the area median income (AMI), or $40,800 according to U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development. That figure factors in New Braunfels and other small cities in the greater San Antonio area.
Sixteen units would be offered to people making 30 percent AMI, or $20,400, while eight would be rented at market rate prices, said Jennifer Gonzalez, Alamo Community Group’s executive director.
The organization also applied for CCHIP incentives for the $17.5 million, 94-unit Museum Reach Lofts on the southeast corner of North St. Mary’s Street and West Jones Avenue. In that project, which is scheduled to break ground March 30 and be completed in September 2020, 86 units will be priced for people making between 30 and 60 percent of the median wage.
One of the other early CCHIP applicants is Stillwater Capital of Dallas, which is building the $28 million, 260-unit Augusta Apartments at 819 Augusta St. at McCullough Avenue. In exchange for a 75 percent rebate on the city portion of its property taxes over 10 years, Stillwater Capital will provide 13 units for households who make 80 percent AMI, or $53,440.
An entity called MGS Museum Reach, LLC, submitted a CCHIP application for The Villas at Museum Reach, a $3.5 million, for-sale townhome project on Dallas Street across from the Museum Reach Lofts. Four of the 13 homes will be reserved for households who earn 120 percent AMI, or $80,160.
Last week, the Heron requested the names of the developers who have applied for CCHIP packages since Jan. 2 from the Center City Development & Operations (CCDO) department. This morning, the Heron requested the list of incentives each developer would be eligible for. Like previous versions of CCHIP, the incentives are considered as-of-right, meaning incentives are set for each development depending on their location and other specifications. Here’s are some charts that explain how that works:
The maps below show Level 1 in beige, Level 2 in purple and Level 3 in green:
The CCHIP restructuring also calls for the creation of an online database that the public can access. CCDO officials said Tuesday that the database would go live by February. Assistant City Manager Lori Houston told the Heron late last year that the database would likely exclude each project’s pro forma, which would show each project’s profit, because those documents are considered proprietary.
For the Cattleman’s Square Lofts, Alamo Community Group is still in the beginning stages. At this time, nonprofit does not know the project’s cost, nor all of its funding streams, Gonzalez said. It will apply for 4 percent low-income housing tax credits, which is a federal program administered by the state, in order to help finance the project.
Last year, during a bidding process, Alamo Community Group, which also owns and operates the Calcasieu apartments at 214 Broadway, offered up $2.8 million for the properties at 811 W. Houston St. The other bidder was UTSA, which is planning a massive expansion of its west downtown campus. UTSA’s bid was $400,000, ACD confirmed last year.
Gonzalez said she hopes ACG begins construction on the Cattleman’s Square Lofts in the first quarter of 2020, and be completed by 2021.